Saturday, April 30, 2011

This Day in Willow Glen

I have been enjoying being able to hear again.  Yes, I can hear in one of my ears!  It has been this way since Pascha.  Holy Week was so dim for me but now I hear. I am happy.

Today, Bright Saturday, Anselm Samuel, Basil Wenceslas, and I went downtown.  The people my little neighborhood of Willow Glen call it "downtown", which I think is funny, since San Jose, wherein Willow Glen is located, has a downtown with skyscrapers, hotels, and museums, the RC Cathedral, theaters, etc.  It is about a 1/3 mile length of Licoln Avenue stretching from the bridge over Los Gatos Creek at the north end (where we live) to Willow Glen Elementary School at the shouth end.

We set out, the three of us, by different modes.  I was on foot.  Basil was on his scooter.  Anselm was on his bicycle.  This last I want to talk about a bit.  Anselm rode his bicylce on the street (it is four lanes wide and has much traffic), in the traffic, changing lanes, giving hand signals.  I told him, "you have the right to be on that road.  That is the law.  Just obey the traffic laws and don'to not let the cars intimidate you."  At one point, when a woman passed him and yelled, "Shouldn't you be on the side walk?" he just ignored her and went about his business.  He was afraid of all the cars, he said, but he did what needed to be done.  I am proud of him.

The first place we went was the Bagel store.  I thought it would be wonderful to taste cream cheese on a bagel again, for the first time since before Lent, but I was wrong.  You see, I've been eating paskha on kulich all week.  Cream cheese on a bagel just can't compare.  But it was nice just the same. The boys and I read the paper while eating our bagels.  Anslem read the comics aloud to Basil while I read about the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton that happened yesterday.  At one point one of my Cub Scouts came in.  It was his first time to see me outside of a Cub Scout activity.  He just kept looking at my clothes, like he never thought I might wear something other than a uniform.

When we finished the bagels we went up the street to a toy store named Treehouse in the Glen, to buy some more marbles and chalk.  We played some games while we were there.  Basil beat me at this crazy version of Tic Tac Toe in which you can capture your oponents squares.  It wouldn't have been so bad, but he beat me four times!

After that we went to Basil's favorite store, the Willow Glen Collective.  Its a really neat little shop.  You can buy plates stamped "Made in Occupied Japan", carnival glass, old tobacco tins, bakelite jewelry, art decco lamps...   It's really like a little museum and the stock turns over all the time so there is always new stuff to see.  Today they had in an old apothacary balance.  The boys had a lot of fun with that.  And I think I found a Mother's Day present for my wife!

The next place we stopped was the elementary school.  We drew a chalk circle and played marbles.  We played several games.  Anselm won them all.  Then the boys raced around the school yard on their vehicles for a little while before we left to go home.

We stopped at Starbucks and got iced tea, since it is a warmish day, maybe in the mid-70s.  Well, I got iced tea.  The boys just wanted water.  Then we went a couple of doors down to Hicklebee's, the best childrens bookstore I've ever seen.  We looked around there for a while, but I didn't buy anything.  We have many books at home still that have yet tobe read.

We came home after that, and Anselm oiled his bike chain while Basil rode his scooter for a while longer.  While Basil was riding up and down our street he met our neighber, the one with thelemon tree. He came home with two lemons and I made them into lemonade for him and Anselm.  The key to lemonade is having twice the volume of simple syrup as lemon juice.  I think most people don't like home made lemonade becuse they have more lemon juice than simple syrup.

While I am writing this the boys are eating a late lunch of Manhattan clam chowder and french bread.  Well, Basil isn't.  He says he hates it and wants me to make New England clam chowder instead.  Well, he can go hungry.  I'm not a short order cook.  I'll try to make something he likes for supper.


GretchenJoanna said...

I read this post to my husband who I knew would appreciate it for two reasons. He spent 18 years growing up in Willow Glen - maybe I told you that before - so it was fun to hear about your explorations.
Also, he is a cyclist with a pet peeve of cyclists who don't know that their bikes are vehicles that belong on the street, and that they should obey the traffic laws and not ride in the opposite direction to traffic, etc. He was so gratified to hear that at least one parent is teaching their children these things. :-)

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